Hadrat Abu Hurayra Radiyallaahu Ta’ala anhu narrates that : Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said :

“What I have forbidden for you, avoid. What I have ordered you [to do], do as much of it as you can. For verily, it was only the excessive questioning and their disagreeing with their Prophets that destroyed [the nations] who were before you”.

 [Buhkaari and Muslim]

How often do we find people excessively questionings things which eventually lead to arguments and ‘bad blood’ between them? Often this habit is masked by ‘a quest for knowledge’ which is something laudable in Islam. However many resort to this tactic with sinister motives to either ‘test’ or even insult the next person and prove how much they know. In reality this excessive questioning is more ignorance than anything else. Often ones ignorance is hidden only to be unveiled when one opens their mouth.

 |The above Hadeeth prohibits excessive questioning, because this practice destroyed previous nations. They had questioned their Ambiya Alayhimus~salaatu was~salaam excessively and then still acted contrary to their teachings.

This Ummah has been warned by Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam of adopting the same attitude. Therefore, we should refrain from asking unnecessary questions, or questions delving into details and technicalities, or questions that will lead to confusion or doubt, or questions that will bring difficulty upon us if we are given the answer [ie: the action may be difficult to carry out if we are given the answer to that particular question].


To understand this Hadeeth, we look into an incident which incited Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam to mention this particular Hadeeth :

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam had addressed the Sahabah Radiallahu Anhum and said: “O people, Allah has made Hajj compulsory upon you, so perform the Hajj." A man asked: “Every year, O Messenger of Allah [Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam]?Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam remained silent. The man asked the same question three times. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam then said: “If I said yes, it [Hajj] would become obligatory upon you [to perform it every year] and you would not be able to do it.” Then Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “Leave me, as I leave you … for all that destroyed those before you was their questioning and their disagreement with their Messengers. So when I tell you to do something, do of it that which you are able [to the best of your ability] and if I forbid you something, then leave it alone.[ Muslim]

We are forbidden to ask about a great deal of those things [which are Halaal and Haraam], and which it is feared, the question would cause revelation of some hardship.

Hence, Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam mentions in another Hadeeth:

The greatest criminal of the Muslims against the Muslims is someone who asks about something [which has not been forbidden], but then it is declared forbidden because of his asking. [Sunan Abi Dawud]

. . . 

Imaam Awza’ee Rahmatullah Alayh mentions:When Allah wants to deprive His servant the blessing of knowledge, He puts questions on his tongue, which are designed to cause difficulty to the people of knowledge [the Ulama] … I think they are the people with the least knowledge … ”

Imaam Maalik Rahmatullah Alayh use to say: Arguing [unnecessary disputing and wrangling] about knowledge, removes the Noor of knowledge from a man’s heart.

So, in this Hadeeth, our attention has been drawn to the fact that we should be pre-occupied with putting into effect the command of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam and we should be avoiding his prohibition. This will keep us busy so that we do not have to ask any other questions.

When we hear a command or prohibition, our concern should not be directed towards speculation about matters which might or might not happen but rather these should be accepted whole-heartedly.

As believers our approach to any injunction of Deen should be “we hear and we obey” for every believer should believe that in every injunction of Deen there is wisdom and benefit regardless whether these are apparent or hidden. Delving into details is a ploy of shaytaan to diverge us from carrying out the command in question.

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